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Re: prep questions

On Wed, Apr 16, 2003 at 02:49:59AM +0000, Drew Roedersheimer wrote:
> I have a couple of questions that I hope someone here can answer.  
> I've looked around quite a bit on google, the Debian manuals, and 
> elsewhere but haven't found any definitive answers for these 
> questions. 
> At work we are running Debian on some Motorola MVME2700 (prep based)
> machines.  I'm looking for a bootloader of some sort for these 
> machines so that a hosed up kernel build doesn't force me to rebuild
> the whole machine.  I can (and have) certainly use a network boot
> to get a machine back to a usable state, but this really isn't ideal
> for the delivered product.  From what I understand, the firmware on
> prep machines doesn't really provide a method to read from the disk 
> at boot time (aside from raw disk reads/writes), so there probably 
> isn't a trivial solution.  I saw an article in the Suse ppc area 
> where they have some sort of bare bones kernel that gets loaded, and 
> which allows you to provide boot options, kernel path, etc to boot 
> with, but the article looked pretty dated.  Does anyone have 
> any experience with this that could provide some hints/references?
> The default kernel that ships with Debian (I've tried Potato (2.2r6)
> and Woody) locks up at boot time when accessing the SCSI controller.
> Using a cross compiler and booting over the network to initialize the
> machine, I've been able to build a kernel and get a machine up and 
> running quite well.  However, ideally, I would like to simply replace
> the kernel on the install CD with a kernel that doesn't lock up the
> machine.  I'm guessing I need the following configuration options
> enabled in the kernel (not modules, obviously):
> I/O device support (SCSI drivers, etc)
> ext2fs support
> iso9660 support
> RAM disk support
> initrd support
> Kernel boot options: root=/dev/ram  - (anything else??)
> I think these should be all the options I need to get the install
> CD to function properly.  I'm assuming I can just copy the whole
> first CD to a temporary location, replace the prep boot kernel(s),
> make a bootable ISO with mkhybrid and the -prep-boot option, and
> I should be good to go.  I'm not sure that this is actually possible,
> or whether or not this is the correct way to go about this process.
> Also, I'm not sure which kernel(s) to replace in the ISO.  Anyone 
> have any pointers or experience with this?

The kernels you want to replace are linux.bin and rescue.bin.
You'll probably also need a matching drivers.tgz, see the 
other thread about this.

The kernels currently in the archive are known not to work, BTW.
Search the list for some of Rolf Brudeseth's mails, a link to his site
is at www.debian.org/ports/powerpc/ .

The paragraph in the install manual about replacing the kernel 
on the rescue floppy might be of some assistance?


Chris Tillman
- Linux Rox -

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